Willard Thomas Phelps

Oct. 1, 1918 – March 19, 2010

Willard Thomas Phelps, a loving husband and father, died Friday, March 19, 2010, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. A longtime Waukesha resident and respected businessman in the community, Willard (Bill) was 91.

Bill is survived by his wife of 66 years, Carol Phelps (nee Austin); and his six sons and daughters, Thomas Phelps (Shirley) of West Allis, Ellen Colby (Richard) of Atlanta, Mary Toth (Gary) of West Allis, David Phelps (Lee Ann) of Banks, Ore., Barbara Thode of Germantown and William Phelps of Milwaukee. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Bill was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and served his country during World War II.

Born in Racine, Bill and Carol moved to Waukesha in 1958 where he owned and operated Phelps Monument Company for 28 years. He was active in the community and in his church, serving on the Prairie Home Cemetery Board, holding multiple positions of leadership in First United Methodist Church of Waukesha, and driving the bus on many MYF youth outings. He was an active and revered member of the Early Birds exercise group at the Waukesha YMCA, a 46-year member of Masonic Lodge No. 37 and an avid outdoorsman. His true love, above all other activities, was sailing, which he enjoyed until the end. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Family will greet relatives and friends from 11 a.m. until the 1 p.m. funeral service Saturday, March 27, at First United Methodist Church, 121 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186. There will be a Masonic service held at 10:30 a.m. at the church.

If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations in Willard’s memory to First United Methodist Church of Waukesha or YMCA of Waukesha will be gratefully accepted.

Church and Chapel Rudolph-Larsen Bros. Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.